Fitting 33” tires to any off-road vehicle will enhance the off-road capability, improve looks, and offer better traction. Unfortunately, it’s not always a straightforward process and the requirements vary from vehicle to vehicle. This article will discuss what is required to fit 33” tires on an MN Triton.
In order to fit 33” tires to an MN Triton you will need the following:
- 2-inch lift
- Removal of front mud flaps
- 16×8 offset wheel
- Trimming of the upper plastic fender guards
- Metal modification on the pinch weld.
Bigger tires are the single most effective method of gaining improved ground clearance. This is especially important for overcoming obstacles in an off-road situation. There are however a few limitations, especially when it comes to IFS (Independent Front Suspension) 4WD vehicles, such as the Mitsubishi Triton.
Let’s now look at a few factors to consider when fitting 33” tires on your MN Triton, and the minimum requirements needed to accomplish this.
Table of Contents
Fitting 33-Inch Tires On A ML Triton
Let’s say from the outset that fitting 33” tires on a Triton is very possible, but not without a few modifications. When referring to 33” tires, we are looking at either 285/75/16 or 285/70/17 tire options. These sizes are the metric equivalent of 32.8” tires.
Let’s start with the minimum lift kit requirement.
Before you even consider fitting 33” tires on your Triton, you’ll need to have a 2” lift kit installed. Even this isn’t enough, since you’ll still need to make additional modifications to prevent scrubbing at full lock. If you decide to go 3” or higher, beware there are serious implications to any IFS suspension, but more on that later.
However, it can be done. Should you fit 33” tires on your truck? There are mixed opinions when it comes to tire sizes, however, I give it a resounding YES! In fact, I am currently running 33” tires on my truck and they work a treat! The added clearance, aggressive look, and improved traction and stability in my opinion are well worth it.
Let’s now look at the best wheel offset option for the Triton on 33s
Wheel offset is always something that gets considered last, and it can become a complicated affair if you’re not sure exactly how much brake caliper clearance is needed.
It’s been widely agreed that 16×8 is a recommended option here, however, 16×7 is apparently possible. The problem here is that you don’t want to go too negative offset on the wheels else you have too much wheel “poke” which causes other problems again. So with a 25+ offset, the wheels will poke by 1cm or so. If you’re opting for alloys over “steelies”, you’ll have more options available.
Backspacing is the distance measured from the hub mounting surface to the inside edge of the wheel. When you decrease backspacing, you gain more inside wheel clearance. There is a fine line between keeping the tires in the guards and preventing scrub on arches, UCA, Brake calipers, etc.
Offset is measured in mm and generally refers to how your wheels sit inside the wheel wells. You get positive and negative offset wheels. When it’s positive the imaginary line is more towards the front and negative means the mounting surface is more towards the rear of the rim creating a deep dish effect.
Fender & Arch Trimming
There are a few plastic sections on the inner fender guards that need to be trimmed away since they will scrub at full articulation. So get your Stanley knife out and do some trimming of those wheel arch/guards where they are making contact. You’ll need to do some grinding of the inner guard pinch weld and trimming of the inside of the flare.
Fender trimming goes hand in hand with backspacing/Wheel offset as well as how wide the tire is. A wider tire will require more wheel arch clearance and room to move when flexing off-road and when turning at full lock.
When you squeeze oversized tires into a wheel arch without lifting the truck, you’ll need to trim away a lot of the inside fender and arch plastic to allow the tire to tuck behind the arch when turning and flexing off-road.
Will the 285/75/16 throw out your MN Triton speedo?
When you upgrade from a stock tire to one with a taller aspect ratio (Sidewall), increasing the wheel circumference, your speedo can be thrown out. In this specific instance with the diameter being a 7.2% increase and a 15.1% increase in the aspect ratio, the speedometer will be thrown off slightly. The 7.2% increase in tire circumference means the actual speed will be higher by up to 6.5 mph @90mph
The below table will give you an indication of how the speedometer reading is affected.
Below are the actual differences between the stock 16” tire and the upgraded 285/75/16
|Measurement||Stock Tire (265/70/17)||Upgrade (285/75/16)||Differences|
The biggest tire you can fit on an MR Triton with stock suspension and stock rims is 235/85/16. This size fits without any rubbing problems, and no trimming or additional modifications are required to make it function properly.
Factory standard tires on the MR Triton are between 245/70R16 245/65R17 or 265/60/18 which all roughly equate to 29.5” to 30.5” in metric sizes. The MR Tritons’ biggest downside is the lack of off-road clearance. If you ever intend on taking this vehicle off-road then it is highly recommended to invest in a quality 50mm lift kit. The best way to improve ground clearance and off-road ability is by fitting a larger set of tires.
The biggest tire you can fit on an MQ Triton with stock suspension and stock rims is 265/65/17 or 265/70/16. They both equate to 29.5” to 30.6” in metric measurements. This size fits without any rubbing problems, and no trimming or additional modifications are required to make it function properly.
A 31.6” or 265/75/16 or 265/70/17 will be a very snug fit on an MQ Triton. Compared to the previous ML shape, the MQ Triton wheel arches and basic chassis design remained very similar. You could get away with this taller aspect ratio on-road, however, there might be some scrubbing on the wheel arches when at full “flex” off-road. You will get conflicting opinions from tire retailers regarding whether 265/70/17 will fit without rubbing during suspension articulation.
With a bigger, heavier tire, you will also notice a slight reduction in all-around performance. It’s not a major difference and it’s barely noticeable most of the time in real-world daily driving, however, if you know your truck well enough, you’ll notice a slight shift in its performance characteristics.
f you want to fit a larger 33” tire without a suspension lift, there is some modification needed. The Ranger T6 crash bars protrude from the wheel well and the bigger 285/70/17 tire makes contact. These will need to be removed/modified first so as not to damage the new tires. They are quite a PITA to remove so be prepared. Once removed, and a 20+ offset aftermarket wheel is fitted you should be able to get the 33” tires to fit comfortably.
33-inch tires can be fitted to a stock Jeep Wrangler JK, but with minimum clearance on the front bumper and not enough clearance for full articulation off-road.
Before running out and fitting bigger tires to your JK, make sure you understand all the implications and that there are other factors that come into play such as backspacing, clearance, fuel economy, handling, and more.
To take full advantage of the Jeep’s legendary articulation, you would do well to fit a 3-4” lift before fitting 33” tires.
Big Lifts On An IFS Truck
When lifting a 4WD, the front suspension plays a major role in determining the complexity of the upgrade. In the case of an SFA or LIVE axle, the axle is separate or not fixed to the chassis. This allows you to fit big tires and higher lifts with a lot more ease. The CV angles are not compromised since they are always in line with the diff and axle. This allows you to fit 3”, 4”, and even higher with not many hassles. Fitting 33” tires to a Solid/Live axle truck requires fewer additional modifications and in most cases little to no Body or arch modifications.
An IFS front axle on the other hand is a more complex process and you are limited. Unfortunately, most 4WDs in production these days are IFS suspensions. Manufacturers are more concerned about on-road performance and safety so they produce IFS trucks that appeal to a larger market.
The main problem with IFS suspension upgrades is the CV axles. The diff of an IFS truck is mounted directly against the underside of the chassis. This makes for excellent stability and cornering, however, it limits the downward travel of the wheels and places the CV joints under more stress when the vehicle is lifted too high.
It’s not recommended to go higher than a 3-inch lift kit on an IFS vehicle, and if you do decide to go higher, you’ll need additional modifications such as diff drop kits, adjustable UCA (Upper Control Arms), LCA, and Stabilizer arms.
We have mentioned quite a few variables to consider before dropping a load on expensive oversized tires. You should first determine what the primary application for the upgrade is. Is it purely for aesthetics or will you need maximum practicality, and off-road ability, while maintaining maximum articulation?